Friday, December 29, 2006
GERALD R FORD 1913 - 2006
Although the presidential events of Gerald Ford's long public life occurred when I was ten years old, he was a key element in the formation of the politics that I carry to this day. He is the second president I remember, Nixon being first, and although I was very young the signs that I would mature into a political junky were evident in the 70s.
Undeniably, I was a precocious and pretentious child. At the tender age of ten I was outraged when President Ford, thirty-one days into the Oval Office, unconditionally pardoned Richard Milhouse "I am not a crook" Nixon. I did not know and don't remember being taught that Richard Nixon's acceptance of a Presidential Pardon was an implicit admission and acceptance of GUILT of the wrong doing of which he was alleged to have been a part. It makes sense now that I know that there was not a Presidential Declaration of Innocence given Pres. Nixon but a plea bargain , if you will, guilt without the trial that would have undoubtably torn the country's fragile morale to shreds.
Equally precocious was my apreciation of his decision to grant clemency to the "draft dodgers" of the war in Vietnam. Selective Service was eight years away for me, but the fear of conscription had me pre-planning my life in Canada already.
I credit President Gerald R Ford for preventing me from becoming 100% cynical about our government at a time when Watergate, Nixon and Vietnam had combined to make that my lot. At 94% cynicism I gladly offer honorable elected officials my heart felt 6% of trust while I will always offer my country and its defenders 100% of my Patriotism.
Thank you, Mr. President.